Anonymous asked: I want to thank you for this blog--I am a big Marco Berger fan and obsessed with Manuel Vignau--i have learned so much from all the comments--please keep up the good work!

Brilliant, thank you! We’ve all learned a lot, I think. :)

Feel free to participate with comments, the more the merrier, I say. We’ve started a particular blog for this purpose, even: Viewmasters (it’s looking very rough at the moment, but it’ll get better!).


As a first proper post for Viewmasters: There’s a very lovely review of Hawaii here which made me think (again!).

Berger very consciously plays with space. Martín’s homelessness finds him in the linked uninhibited outdoors, a space Berger readily imbues with an emotional, almost mythic, expansiveness. Eugenio, locked away, both in his many bedroomed home and his own writerly mind, struggles to grasp that freedom, despite his relative social privilege. And it is that privilege separates the two men in more ways than Eugenio would likely admit. Like the “germ” in his unfinished novel, a young girl innocently questioning her father’s disproportionate wealth, Martín represents an unspoken affront to Eugenio’s paper thin belief in social equality. His generosity towards Martín is always carefully structured so as to maintain their social stratification, which eventually becomes the largest impediment to their union.

This is very true, Eugenio is bound to both his house, his garden and the inside of his head. While Martín, being homeless, quite literary occupies the open spaces, he’s outdoors and he’s also freer in his way of thinking. And it’s a good way to explain the parallell with that (awfully dull-sounding) book that Eugenio is writing: that it’s Martín who’s that girl, challenging the order within which Eugenio is used to exist. It’s an interesting observation, and one with which I agree, that while Eugenio is being very generous and kind towards Martín, it’s still within certain parameters that he’s set up. Eugenio has decided how things should be and finds it difficult to see it any other way. Resulting in him misunderstanding the reasoning behind Martín’s efforts to convey his attraction to Eugenio.

Martín’s subtle romantic appeals grow from the nostalgia of the men’s half remembered past. His presence alone is an invitation for Eugenio to return to a more selfless time in his life and to redress the imbalance of their childhood, thereby freeing himself of his social and sexual constraints.

Another good observation on why it’s necessary for Eugenio and Martín to connect via the childhood memories they share. They need to revert to a time when their bond isn’t hindered by issues which mostly exist only in Eugenio’s head. It’s not unsimiliar to the way Bruno has to seduce Pablo in Plan B via a friendship built on behaving like 12-year-olds instead of adults. For all these guys, their adult minds are filled with all that which makes it seem impossible to be in a relationship with the other man, while their younger selves are free from such obstacles.

(The four last gifs are just random. I love how Eugenio pats the bed for Martín to sit down, like he’s a dog…)

(Disqus comments are on Viewmasters!)

For my fellow Manuel Vignau-fans, here’s a little ‘trailer’ for a play he’s doing currently in Buenos Aires called La Sala Roja (The Red Room). It’s about a group of parents having a meeting about their children at a daycare centre. It’s supposedly very good and very funny. I love how very reluctantly they are singing this children’s song…

A fellow Plan B lover has just published her wonderful story …the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust…”

It’s beautifully written and serves as a terrific coda to the film. (The film is but the beginning, after all.) The characterisations of both Pablo and Bruno are spot on and I found it a very believable future for the boys. Also, there are a few unresolved issues, when you think about it. And here they are dealt with in a very satisfying manner, with a dollop of angst and a whole slew of happiness. I love it very much. And I’m so, so glad there’s more fanfiction in this miniscule fandom. Here’s hoping for even more!

So, highly recommend reading for all Plan B fans. Or just fans of smart, well-written fanfiction. :) 

Scott Matthew - Sweet Kiss in the Afterlife

I’ve fallen in love with Scott Matthew’s music, it’s frail and etheral, but still very melodic and underneath it all, there’s a great pop song. I’m a melody nerd, at heart, so I love people who can write beautiful melodies and who can sing so the melody isn’t lost. Scott Matthew sounds a bit like Elvis Costello when he sings, but he’s got a lovely voice. And this song is just splendid.

Pablo proposes they should have sex, and Bruno is giddy and a bit flabbergasted. But he’s also getting pretty enthusiastic about the idea.

Firstly, he looks down at his crotch - methinks he’s a little aroused. And can’t believe himself! Secondly, he takes off his shoes and gets comfy on the bed. A few more moments, and he’d have stripped completely, I’m sure. 

(Feel free to also talk about Hawaii in the comments, if you want… The other post is too big now. Again!)

We needed another Hawaii-post! And turns out I have more thoughts to share…

1. Martín’s clothes are worn and dirty from the first day he arrives in the village. And he obviously only own one pair of pants and two shirts. What happened to him before this? Why doesn’t he own any clean, whole clothes? He says he has a few things at a cousin’s place… Martín is a guy who’s probably close to 30 years old, and he’s been living with his grandmother in a little town in Uruguay. Why hasn’t he moved away earlier to find work? It’s possible he lived there because he couldn’t afford anything else, but surely, these past ten years or so when he’s been grown-up, he’s made some kind of life of his own? He must have had some income. It’s a little weird. Have times in Uruguay and Argentina been that difficult that an able bodied and resourceful guy like Martín can’t get a job which pays his rent? So what has he been doing these past years? Has he been in a monastery? That would explain the crucifix… *g*

2. When Martín arrives at Eugenio’s place, he’s acting very neutral, just asking for work. But then, as an after-thought, almost, he adds that they know each other. Surely, he knew that would garner a reaction from Eugenio, making him more inclined to hire him? He pretends it’s of no consequence in that moment, but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing. Then again, when Eugenio happily invites him in, he refuses, probably because he doesn’t want Eugenio to feel too forced. He sets the boundaries between them right from the start, creating an imbalance.

3. Eugenio likes to find reasons to touch Martín’s back. :)

Bruno is one with the kitty. It’s really no wonder Pablo just HAD to photograph him. :D

Maurice (1987)

Maurice is one of my favourite period films, and like A Room With A View, it’s beautiful, perfectly acted and has a great big, aching heart.

I’ve always felt more for Maurice & Clive than for Maurice & Alec, since I feel the latter is more of a fantasy, a dream, rather than reality. Even though I’m also always glad Maurice gets a happy ending, at least for a while.

What would have happened if Maurice & Clive would not have been interrupted that first time in the squeaky chair? How physical would their relationship have become at that point? Clive is the instigator, but where would he have stopped? His belief in platonic love between men wasn’t something he came up with on a whim, but maybe his youthful passion would have taken precedent for once. If you look at Clive’s relationship with his wife (I love that Clive’s wife is portrayed sympathetically, it adds to the complexity), it’s very chaste as well. Seems Clive was a man with less need for physical love - or someone who’d learnt to control it so well he’d forgotten it ever existed. 

It’s not hard to understand Clive, in spite of his abandonment of Maurice. He has responsibilities, family and a desire to belong. It wasn’t an easy choice in those days. Maurice doesn’t come from the same kind of family and Maurice’s choice in the end is one of exclusion; he and Alec won’t ever be able to live freely and openly. Also, I’ve always felt that Maurice & Alec’s relationship is (initially at least) more about Maurice finally experiencing physical love and getting a release for all his pent up desire than it is about love. Alec is a decent, clever and ambitious man, though. And maybe he and Maurice could make a life for themselves in some other part of the world. 

Five Dances (2013)

This is a beautiful film, very simple plot, but such amazing dancing and providing me with a happy, warm feeling. There was something quite mesmerizing about the film. Very quiet, very low-key, but it just drew me right in. A lovely film about dancing and falling in love. 

Part of what makes it work is definitely due to the music, as evidenced in the video above. The song is Sinking, by Scott Matthew. I’ve never heard him before, but wow, I love it so much. Such a beautiful song!